The 10 Best New Features of macOS Mojave

Yusuf Limalia 01-10-2018

From cats to various California locations, macOS has gone the distance. macOS Mojave is the fifteenth major release of Apple’s desktop operating system.


This means new features, functionality, and more to geek out at. Here’s our roundup of Mojave’s best features to enhance your macOS experience.

Not running Mojave yet? Prepare your Mac for an update first and then simply open the App Store, look for macOS Mojave on the Featured tab, and click Get to begin installing.

1. Dark Mode

macOS Mojave Dark Mode

High Sierra allowed you to change your menu bar and Dock to a darker color scheme, but everything in-between stayed a little bright. To turn to the dark side in Mojave, click on the Apple logo at the upper-left corner of the screen and choose System Preferences. Here, select General, and under Appearance, click on Dark.

Your desktop background and Apple’s native apps such as Safari, Photos, Calendar, Xcode, and more will now feature darker colors and themes. This is much easier on the eyes, especially for people who spend a lot of time on their Mac. Colors in the Photos app also contrast better while in Dark Mode.

Third-party app developers must add dark modes manually, but other apps such as Pixelmator Pro already fit right in. Dark Mode looks beautiful, and many iPhone apps support dark modes, too!

2. Dynamic Desktop

macOS Mojave Dynamic Desktop

Have you ever wanted a desktop experience Top 7 Ways to Personalize Your Mac Desktop Want to make your Mac more personal? Check out these awesome methods for customizing your Mac theme and more. Read More that changes with the time of day? Now you can, with Mojave’s Dynamic Desktop. Combined with features from Dark Mode, your wallpaper and theme will shift along with the position of the sun wherever you are. Your wallpaper dynamically changes from a lighter sky blue to a darker twilight blue as day progresses into night.

To enable Dynamic Desktop, open System Preferences followed by Desktop & Screen Saver. Select one of the options from the Dynamic Desktop section under Desktop.

Using the dropdown menu underneath the wallpaper’s name, select Dynamic. Currently, there are only two wallpaper options that work with Dynamic Desktop. But you’ll find beautiful dynamic wallpapers online and can even make your own.

macOS Mojave Dynamic Desktop Settings

One aspect that may deter you from Dynamic Desktop is that it relies on your location to match the lighting to what’s outside. This means you must enable macOS’s location services for Dynamic Desktop to work.

3. Desktop Stacks

Do you have a messy desktop covered in icons? Mojave brings you Desktop Stacks to help bring order to the chaos. Simply right-click some empty space on your desktop and select Use Stacks. Mojave will cleverly clean up your mess and group files together.

Stacks declutter your desktop by stacking similar files on top of one another. You can organize Stacks by file type, date, tags, and more. Simply click on a stack to view its contents; from there double-click on whatever you want to open.

To quickly get a glance at what’s stacked, you can scrub through it using your trackpad. You can also create smart folders that update over time based on specific categories like Date Last Opened.

4. Screenshot Markups

macOS Mojave Screenshot Markup

iOS has had a screenshot markup feature for some time now. Previously you needed a separate app to annotate your screenshots on macOS, but not anymore. After you’ve taken your screenshot, Mojave presents you with some options for quickly making edits while using the Mac’s quick look feature 5 Essential Quick Look Tips for Previewing Mac Files Quick Look is a subtle but handy macOS feature. You can get more out of it with these top tips. Read More .

You can sketch, draw, add text, shapes, and rotate or crop your beloved screenshots. Changing the color, font, and stroke for each of these options is also right at your fingertips. If you’re a serial screenshot taker, you’ll enjoy it.

The Sign option is also particularly impressive; it lets you use your trackpad and finger to create a custom signature to add to your screenshots. Alternatively, hold up a picture of your signature to your camera and you’ll get the same result. The new markup tools tie in beautifully with Mojave’s new screen clipping tool.

5. Screenshot Utility

Mojave also adds a new shortcut to the macOS screenshot arsenal. If you find all the screenshot shortcuts difficult to memorize, this should make your life much easier. Press Cmd + Shift + 5 to bring up the Screenshot Utility toolbar.

macOS Mojave Screenshot Utlity

The bar allows you to:

  • Screenshot the entire screen or a specific window
  • Screenshot a specific area of the screen
  • Record the entire screen
  • Record a specific area of the screen

The options also allow you to choose where the file saves, set a start timer, and show the cursor. After you’ve taken a screenshot or recording, it appears in the lower corner of your screen. This allows you to mark it up and share it straight away, without the need to save a copy. It’s easy and clutter-free.

6. Continuity Camera

Document scanners will eventually die off as the world becomes more digital. They were great while they lasted, but the workflow for scanning a document into your computer can be tedious. If you’re armed with Mojave and an iOS device running iOS 12, just use the Continuity Camera.

This lets you take a picture using your iOS device from your Mac. You can either take a standard picture or have iOS scan a document. Document scanning detects a document that’s in frame, cuts out everything else, and fixes any minor stretching or skewing issues.

On your desktop, right-click empty space and choose a desired option under Import from iPhone. Your selected device’s camera will open and after you’ve taken your desired photo, select Use Photo.

macOS Mojave Continuity Camera

The only caveat here is that you can’t use this feature and your personal hotspot simultaneously, as they both use Bluetooth to communicate with your Mac.

Continuity Camera also integrates directly with Apple’s native Mac apps such as Pages, Keynote, and TextEdit. Simply right-click wherever you’d like to insert your picture or document and follow the same steps.

7. iOS Apps on Mac

macOS Mojave iOSMac Apps

After upgrading to Mojave, you may have noticed some familiar-looking icons in your app launcher. Apple is working on a translation layer that will allow iOS apps to run on your Mac. Currently, there are only four supported apps: Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memos.

You may notice that these are relatively basic apps. That’s because Apple has a lot more to do in order to completely roll out this new system and make it user-friendly. Making apps designed for touch input usable with a mouse and keyboard is tricky.

Internally this project is called “Marzipan,” but that name might change once the system is complete. It will be interesting to see how the same apps will work with considerations for Force Touch, the Touch Bar, and other user interface elements.

8. The App Store

macOS Mojave App Store

iOS and macOS’s new relationship grows further, as the desktop App Store also has hints of its mobile counterpart. Not only is the new App Store much faster, but various improvements make it easier to navigate. This isn’t just a fancy new skin—the App store received a complete rework.

The main navigation has been moved from little tabs at the top to a much larger section on the left side of the window. The Discover page features curated content and actual use cases about the apps people use. The rest of the App Store breaks down into four main sections:

  • Create
  • Work
  • Play
  • Develop

The old style categories are still present, but the new sections are geared towards what you’re actually trying to accomplish. This makes each section more relatable to the user.

macOS Mojave App Store Discover

One element that doesn’t live in the App Store any longer is system updates. Your apps still get their updates from the App Store, but macOS updates are now where they belong: under System Preferences.

The App Store has felt neglected for some time, with most people downloading apps from vendor websites. This feels like it’s going to change from Mojave onward.

9. Finder

Finder isn’t left out of getting some Mojave treatment. You may recall viewing pictures in Finder was a previously little awkward with Cover Flow or Quick Look. All this changes with Gallery View. Gallery View has a horizontal view of your thumbnails with quick access to markup options and file metadata. The ability to resize the thumbnails would be great, but relative to the list view Cover Flow provided, this is far better.

macOS Mojave Finder

Speaking of Quick Actions, Finder allows you to make some changes without the need to open an additional app. Markup gives you the same options for individual images as discussed in the screenshot section.

For videos or screen recordings The 5 Best Screen Recorder Apps for Capturing Your Mac OS Screen Need a tool to record the screen on your Mac? Here are the best screen recorder apps to capture your Mac desktop. Read More , the Markup button becomes a Trim button that lets you trim the start and end points of a video. If you select multiple images, the Markup button allows you to Create PDF by combining the selected images into a single PDF.

10. Other Mojave Enhancements

Mojave comes with a dash of security improvements. Safari has been improved with some password manager-like features, as it gains the ability to create strong passwords automatically.

Plus, Safari can create, autofill, and store passwords automatically. It will even flag passwords that you’ve reused, which are a major security risk.

Advertisers can learn a bunch of information about you from your device when you browse the web. Safari now obstructs this by only sharing a simplified system profile. The Enhanced Tracking Prevention offers protection against social media Like and Share buttons and comment widgets that track you without permission. Blocking your Mac’s camera and microphone has also become easier.

Last but not least, Safari gets support for favicons. This much-needed update helps you identify tabs when you have many open.

macOS Mojave in Review: It’s Great!

Updates are both exciting and terrifying. Sometimes the excitement doesn’t live up, and you need to take matters into your own hands to get the macOS tweaks you want. In some cases, you can get the latest macOS features without updating your Mac to the newest version.

In some instances, a company has deployed an update that contains a security flaw or breaks users’ systems. This is why many companies including Apple release beta versions that are tested to mitigate these situations.

Always ensure you back up your machine before updating it, especially if you’re doing a major version upgrade like Mojave or downgrading to a previous macOS version 3 Ways to Downgrade to an Older Version of macOS Want to downgrade your Mac to a previous version of macOS? Here are several ways to revert versions if you're not happy. Read More . Did you know macOS already includes one of the best backup applications in the form of Time Machine?

Explore more about: Mac App Store, Mac Tips, Mac Tricks, macOS Mojave.

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  1. MyMacIsFineAlready
    November 1, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    wow a dark mode and a tool that cleans up the desktop if you're too stupid to get organized.. no thanks... how about an exciting update? Screen capture? come on.. I expected this feature years ago.. not gonna upgrade..

  2. Ed Bouchard
    October 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    What good does an update do, when it blocks other programs. I installed Mojave just to find out that my accounting program and FileMaker version do no longer open. The reinstalling of High Sierra was easy, it just took time I could have spent more usefully. Apparently, I'm not alone with the FileMaker problem. What I do not dig is that Apple did not bother to update their subsidiary's programs. To me, this is gross negligence, great customer-unfriendliness.

  3. aaff
    October 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    doesn't sound worthwhile upgrading to me, considering how every release or patch Apple release seems to cause more problems than they fixe - I'll stick with hi sierra until the guaranteed horrors are all ironed out

    • Michael Kinsman
      October 14, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      I generally follow the advice you note above, but went ahead (because of some problems with High Sierra compatibility) and downloaded and installed Mojave. Quick install (after I had backed up my current hard drive with Carbon Copy Cloner) and I was on Mojave. One compatibility problem (Expandrive) that was very quickly resolved with them--they had a new version ready to go. No other problems to date, and I'm in about two weeks.

      Summary: I have agreed with your advice in the past. This time I didn't follow it and the results have been better than could have been expected. Apple did a great job on this release.

  4. Ziyaad
    October 2, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Great post, thanks.

  5. Ziyaad
    October 2, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Great post , thanks.